Sunday 28 February 2016

Author Visit: Baines Endowed VC School

I'd like to say a big thank you to Ben Leah and all the brilliant young readers I had the pleasure of meeting at Baines Endowed VC School last week!

Ben has been reading Varjak Paw to his classes for many years now, so all the children in Years 6, 5, 4 and 3 already knew quite a bit about my books.  It was amazing to see the work they'd been doing.  They'd even made a reading wall, with reading groups named after authors – and my name was one of them!  It was incredible to see it there between Michael Rosen and Philip Pullman, two of my own favourite authors.

It was brilliant to hear so many great questions and stories from everyone.  But if anyone has a question that we didn't have time to answer, or if anyone would like to say anything about the visit or my books – please just leave me a comment in the box below!  In the meantime, here's the Phoenix book trailer once again:

Friday 26 February 2016

Author Visits: Lady Margaret Primary

I'd like to say a huge thank you too all the fantastic young readers I met when I visited Lady Margaret Primary School this month!

They gave me a brilliant welcome, and it was so inspiring for me to see their enthusiasm for reading.  It was a pleasure to talk to them about my books, and to hear about their favourites.  I think there are definitely some future writers out there!

We didn't quite have time to answer all the questions that everyone had, so if anyone would like to ask me a question or say anything about the visit or my books, just leave me a comment below!  In the meantime, here's Dave McKean's brilliant Phoenix book trailer again:

Thursday 25 February 2016

Patron Of Reading: Fortismere School Year 8

I was back in Fortismere School again recently as their Patron Of Reading.  This is a fantastic scheme where an author visits a school regularly over a period of time, working to spread a love of reading and books.  I agreed with the brilliant school librarian Gill Ward to work on reading with Year 7, and writing with Year 8.

I did a creative writing workshop with Year 8 last term, in which they came up with ideas for a story.  This term, I asked them to bring in some writing they were already working on, and to look at ways of improving it.  We talked about elements of stories including characters and places, and what you can do to get to know them better.

We also talked about research, and I showed them some images that I'd found useful while writing Phoenix, including this one of an Astrolabe:

There was lots of great writing going on, and I'm looking forward to working with Year 8 again next term!  In the meantime, here's a link to some writing tips I've done on this blog, which I hope will be helpful.  And I'm looking forward to returning to Fortismere on World Book Day (March 3rd), when I'll be talking to Year 7 again about reading!